September 23, 2012

How to Convert and Export Google SketchUp SKP Files to STL for 3D Printing

Wiki > How to Convert and Export Google SketchUp SKP Files to STL for 3D Printing
So you designed a nice model in Google SketchUp and you want to make it on your Airwolf 3D printer.

Here is the preferred way to export models from SketchUp in STL format:

You will need an STL “exporter” plug in for SketchUp.  Here is a link to a free exporter: http://www.guitar-list.com/download-software/convert-sketchup-skp-files-dxf-or-stl .  This nifty little plugin will enable you to export your model in STL format.  At this site you can download the plugin and read up on the documentation.  It is also compatible with: SkeinForge, FreeMill, Vectric Cut-3D, Roland Modela Player, Boxford’s 3D GeoCAM, Carvewright Designer software, 3D Printer Exclusive, DeskProtoLite, MeshCAM Art, Art Cam.

1.  Install the plugin, using the installation instruction provided on the site.

2.  After you have installed the plugin, reopen SketchUp and select the object to be 3D printed (by triple clicking or what ever method you prefer, so long as the entire object is highlighted in blue).

3.  Click on the drop down menu for “TOOLS” and select “EXPORT TO DXF OR STL”

drop down menu export skp file to stl 1 airwolf 3d printers

4. Select export unit as “MILLIMETERS”

export skp to stl 2 airwolf 3d printer

5.  Select “stl”

export units skp to stl 3 airwolf3d printers

6. When the save file name window opens and you type in the name – be sure to type the extension “.stl” to the end of the name.    This may not be necessary depending on what version you have.

export skp file to stl airwolf3d printer convert

7.  After it has saved the STL file, you will see a window pop up like this.

saved export skp convert to stl airwolf 3d printers

Congratulations, you have just saved your first STL file!  Now, before you slice the STL file into gCode, let’s make sure it is watertight by using MeshLab.

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